This would be college basketball's hot stove season if it wasn't just so doggone pleasant outside.
As it is, this is more like cool-lemonade season. But don't let the shorter sleeves and westerly air flows fool you. This is a white-knuckle time for hoopheads waiting to learn whether their squad's best player will leave school for the NBA draft.
But even so, spring is a time of renewal and whatnot, and so it's fitting that we now celebrate those who are returning to their college teams for the 2014-15 season or stepping on the stage for the very first time.
These are the seven players who have the best chance of really standing out next season and are the early (very, very early) favorites to win Naismith and/or Wooden player of the year honors.
Though players have until April 27 to formally file their draft papers with the league, there is already a sense of which elites will stay and go. This slideshow, listing players in no particular order, is comprised of those who have already announced their desire to stay in school or who presently seem reasonably unlikely to move to the next level just yet.
Stats courtesy of ESPN.com.